Sony’s streaming TV service is expanding nationwide In the United States. PlayStation Vue, which had been limited to major cities during its first year, will start at $30 a month, in the new regions. That’s $10 cheaper than current packages, but it won’t include over-the-air channels, such as stations for ABC and Fox. Vue’s seven older markets — big cities including New York City and San Francisco — won’t have access to the new, cheaper deal.
More people, in the US, are bypassing traditional TV services in light of extensive online offerings from Netflix and HBO Now. To reach them, cable and satellite TV companies are launching Internet-based TV services. Dish debuted its $20-a-month Sling TV service last year. Comcast and other cable companies have also experimented with online TV packages, though none are offered beyond a few markets. AT&T’s DirecTV service plans a nationwide streaming offering, but details on prices and channels haven’t been released. Published reports have also said that Apple is trying to develop its own streaming-TV service.
Vue’s cheaper offering, made available in more markets than before, could make Vue a more significant challenger to traditional TV services from cable and satellite. A PlayStation or an Amazon Fire TV device is needed to sign up for Vue.
Sony will offer just the cable channels live — more than 50 in the starting package. Programs from ABC, Fox, and NBC will be available the following day, similar to the way Hulu works. CBS shows are coming to some markets only at an unspecified date. TV packages for Vue’s existing markets won’t change. They start at $40 and include the local stations. The broadcast-free, $30 option will be limited to markets outside the initial seven — Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco.